Some one named Dean Drysdale, who I suspect is this Dean Drysdale, and, therefore, not exactly an unbiased observer, reported on a recent (2 August) “public consultation” on electoral reform that was held, in BC, by a Liberal MP.
“It’s the Tuesday evening after the August long weekend,” Mr Drysdale reported, “and I have just returned home after attending a “town hall” meeting hosted by Liberal MP John Aldag on the subject of electoral reform. This was part of the “consultation” with Canadians that was supposed to be so much more comprehensive than a referendum. I went with a jaundiced view because I don’t think the day after the August long weekend is when you hold meetings when you want to hear from Canadians — it’s when you hold meetings when you don’t want to hear from Canadians, but you want to be able to say you consulted.“
Mr Drysdale complains that “The meeting began with an hour-long presentation by a local professor of political science, who was clearly biased against the current “first past the post” system, but who struggled to explain how the alternatives work or why they would be better … [and then] … Eventually, the audience was invited to ask questions. We were told we needed to limit our comments to two minutes. In other words, no referendum because we are going to consult, which we’ll do the night after the August long weekend, and the issue is too complex for you bozos to understand, but tell us everything you think about it in two minutes. Now, smile, you’ve been consulted!“
That strikes me as being pretty much par for the course with this government … long on promises but decidedly unsure about how to actually govern. It strikes me that the Defence Review was the same: designed to take (waste) time during which the government could hind behind a “review” while it chose to ignore pressing defence issues.
My guess is that public support for a change in the voting system is lukewarm, at best, and that the Liberals are hearing, over and over again, that Canadians want a referendum. Neither Prime Minister Trudeau nor Minister Maryam Monsef seem to know quite how to drop this hot potato of an issue with something like grace. If they try to ram it through without a referendum I think they will be pilloried by even the normally Liberal friendly CBC and Toronto Star, and it may be a “losing” issue in 2019, but if they have a referendum, especially if it is a fair one, they will very likely lose. I suspect that they might try an unfair referendum with a rigged question but that, I believe, would take too long and the Trudeau promise that 2015 would be the last FPTP election will have to be broken.
It looks a bit like …
… but, hey, almost 40% of the 70% of us who bothered to vote (about 28% of Canadians) voted for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and now we can see what we got.